Although we've only been home for a week France is fast becoming a distant memory. The ten days away that included only three days on our own haven't actually done a lot to recharge my batteries and the amount of knitting has been inevitably small.
In fact I didn't have time to do much at all except eat, drink and attempt to tidy up the "garden". Oh yes...the garden....
On the plus side the roses this year were fantastic.
and these had the most amazing perfume
despite being some that have done their own thing for so long and now are completely wild, their flowers are only remarkable because there are so many but the smell reminds me of the rose petal scent we all used to make as children - and of the Iranian rose petal jam my friend brings me.
Actually the flowers are very similar to these of our newest rose - Rambling Rector I think it's called -
and I think this is going to be as vigorous a climber as it is reputed to be. It was only planted last year and has already made a very good start.
It's very close to a pair of lime trees and it's always this time - end of May/beginning of June when the flowers start to open and their heady scent completely fills the air - as does the buzzing of the bees.
But on the negative side we've been battling against these little pests.
I'm sure those of you living in the south of the UK will recognise the rosemary leaf beetle. I hadn't ever seen this until this year - and it still hasn't appeared in our English garden.
And the lily beetle
Both of these beetles are very destructive and can destroy completely the plant they're feeding on - or rather the plant that their larvae have fed on - and sadly neither seem to have any natural predator so the best we can do is to pick them off one by one and destroy them. The lily beetles are crafty little things - apparently when one is threatened it emits a high pitched sound that warns all the other beetles to hide and they all drop off the plant into the undergrowth out of sight.
But on a brighter side, these orchids grow wild in the dappled shade at the edge of our wood.
and although they are late this year and when we left there were nowhere near as many as usual, at least they were there.